When I stopped teaching band to drop down into Elementary music, I did so because I did the research and felt that I could do the most good by teaching the littlest ones. We all benefit from learning music. Here are just a few studies that have been done showing this.
- “Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.
- Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons.”
Arte Music Academy. “Statistical benefits of music in education.” Statistical-Benefits-Of-Music-In-Education. Accessed July 17, 2014.
- Young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive musical training.
National Association for Music Education. “The Benefits of the Study of Music.” National Association for Music Education. Accessed July 17, 2014.
There are so many more than I could provide here. Suffice it to say that music helps the brain. Much like learning a foreign language music physically changes the brain, but to an even greater degree. For example, one study had the image of a 4 year old brain where the visual/spatial and language centers were much more mature.
Other studies showed that students who learned music, did better on tests and even received an across the board bump of an average of 40% on their GPA; potentially changing a C student into a B student, a B student into an A student. It can change of lives.
It makes us smarter. But only if we learn the language of music. Singing songs for fun, even learning new songs gives us much personal satisfaction but doesn’t really give us the boost that learning the language of music does.
- Music training in childhood “fundamentally alters the nervous system such that neural changes persist in adulthood after auditory training has ceased.”
Skoe, E. & N. Kraus. (2012). A little goes a long way: How the Adult Brain Is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(34):11507–11510.
Of course, there is so much more out there than I can talk about. There are on going studies and many books on the subject of how music affects our brain. (I recommend “This is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession” by Daniel Levitin.)
At Amarant Education we are committed to giving every child out there that “boost”. We have done the research, written the curriculum, and even filmed two pilot lessons. We have designed a system that we believe is the best out there to teach music literacy. Using today’s technology to advance this worthy cause has been our dream. Please help us with our kick starter project to help get this system to all the children.